Having the right drink to accompany Thanksgiving dinner can make your meal all the more satisfying. According to Josh Schaffner, the founder and director of New York Craft Beer Week, a brewski is an optimal choice for next Thursday because its properties reflect those of a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
“Beer is essentially liquid bread,” he says. “So when you think of Thanksgiving, the base of stuffing is almost always bread, and then it’s flavored with additional things. Its mirror image is beer.”
We got Schaffner’s top picks for what to serve alongside your turkey.
1. Orval: “[It’s] produced by one of the six remaining Trappist breweries of the world — it’s actually made by monks. The beer has a little bit of a wild and funky element to it — they add a type of wild yeast to the bottling in order to achieve a secondary fermentation and the resulting carbonation. Any bottle conditioned beer will have a more effervescent mouthfeel with finer carbonation; but because of the addition of the wild yeast, Orval also has a wonderfully unique flavor accenting the carbonation."
2. Southampton Cuvee des Fleurs:
“Just for the presentation factor, it’s easier if there’s a couple of bigger bottles at the center of the table to pass around, as opposed to everybody having a little bottle next to them. The Southampton Cuvee des Fleurs is made in Long Island, and it is named as such because it uses a selection of different edible flowers as flavoring adjuncts. It’s also one of the drier beers.”
3. Brooklyn Brewery Local 1:
“It’s kind of Brooklyn’s homage to Belgian strong golden ales. It’s very versatile and there’s nothing that it’s really gonna conflict with that would appear on a Thanksgiving table.”
4. Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Sorachi Ace:
“If you enjoy a more spiced meal, I feel that [this] beer will stand up to that reasonably well.”
5. Any pumpkin beer:
“Some are sweeter, some are spicier, some are more robust. A lot of people think that would be a better beer to serve with the desserts, but I think it’s even better to have before the meal starts.”